Manitoba to Raise Country of Origin Labelling at 13th Tri-National Accord

CANADA - Farm-Scape: Episode 1158. Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork.
calendar icon 16 January 2003
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Manitoba Pork Council

Farm-Scape is sponsored by
Manitoba Pork Council and Sask Pork

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Farm-Scape is a Wonderworks Canada production and is distributed courtesy of Manitoba Pork Council
and Sask Pork.

Farm-Scape, Episode 1158

Manitoba's Agriculture Minister says Canada must make every effort to demonstrate to American law makers the challenges mandatory US 'Country of Origin' labelling will cause livestock producers in both nations.

Voluntary US country of origin labelling guidelines came into effect in October last year and a mandatory system is due to be implemented in September 2004.

Manitoba Agriculture Minister Rosann Wowchuk says, despite her objections, she's been assured by her counterparts in the US that a mandatory system will proceed.

She says there is opportunity during the volunteer period for people to express their concerns and she intends to raise the issue when she takes part in the 13th Tri-National Accord in April.

"One of the biggest areas of concern is in our weanlings. We ship millions of weanlings to the United States.

If that weanling is considered Canadian, even though it's only a few days old when it goes to the US, there's a huge problem that's created for the US farmer. Where is her or she going to sell those weanlings or are they going to quit buying them from Canada?

If they quit buying them from Canada where are they going to get them in the United States? Their market dries up and we have a surplus so there are many challenges that come with this and that's why we have to continue working on it. It will take a lot of discussion to point out what challenges this is creating for us, what the impact of this could be on our producers, what the impact could be on their producers. "

Wowchuk admits, it's an American law and the ball is very much in the Americans' court. She says the bill has the potential to create serious problems for western Canadian livestock producers so we have to work with the Americans to find a way to live with that law and work through those problems.

For Farmscape.Ca, I'm Bruce Cochrane.
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